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Special Issue "Sustainable Materials, Equipment and Construction Techniques for Building Applications and Heritage Conservation"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Green Building".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 July 2023 | Viewed by 1920

Special Issue Editors

GICONSIME Research Group, University of Oviedo, 33204 Gijón, Spain
Interests: numerical simulation; advanced materials; energy efficiency
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Energy Department, University of Oviedo, 33204 Gijón, Spain
Interests: high-efficiency and renewable energy; thermal energy storage; passive construction; computational fluid dynamics
Business Administration and Management Department, University of Oviedo, 33203 Gijón, Spain
Interests: sustainability; life cycle assessment; efficiency

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The construction sector is responsible for a significant contribution of pollutant gases worldwide and one third of energy consumption. The highest consumptions of energy are mainly due to heating and refrigeration. The construction industry must be reformed toward zero-emission, efficient, and resilient buildings. The main actions to achieve these goals are urban planning, new buildings, building retrofit, reduction in energy consumptions, materials, resilience of buildings, and use of clean energy. However, non-explicit actions are required to address emissions within the building sector. For this reason, it is necessary to mitigate building emissions, use renewable energy sources and low-carbon building materials, improve building envelope, develop nature-based solutions, and optimize equipment and system efficiency. The most relevant areas to study, including experimental and numerical analysis, are the following:

  • Materials in the construction sector must be analyzed based on lifecycle assessment to improve sustainability in the construction field: the use of natural and local materials such as stones, timber, clays and so on; or advanced materials such as phase-change materials (PCM), nanoparticles or gamma rays in construction materials, among others;
  • The use of renewable energy sources and mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions of the building, moving toward the concept of zero-energy buildings and a self-supply energy scheme;
  • Innovative and sustainable solutions for new buildings such as nature-based solutions, passive house design and active buildings and innovation;
  • Sustainability in building recovery and conservation, and retrofit solutions, taking into account energy efficiency, thermal comfort, materials, and techniques applied.

This Special Issue aims to collect research and review papers focused on numerical and experimental analyses to improve sustainability in the construction field. The possible topics for submissions include but are not limited to the following:

  • Sustainable materials;
  • Advanced materials;
  • Renewable and clean energy;
  • Thermal energy storage;
  • Energy efficiency of buildings;
  • Nearly zero-energy buildings (nZEB);
  • Zero-energy buildings (ZEB);
  • Passive and active building-envelopes;
  • Sustainable solutions for building recovery and conservation;
  • Sustainable construction operations;
  • Greenhouse gas emission and absorption;
  • Lifecycle of building materials and operations.

Prof. Dr. Mar Alonso-Martinez
Prof. Dr. Inés Suárez-Ramón
Prof. Dr. María Mitre
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • construction materials
  • energy efficiency
  • nature-based solutions
  • building and heritage conservation

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Adaptive Retrofit for Adaptive Reuse: Converting an Industrial Chimney into a Ventilation Duct to Improve Internal Comfort in a Historic Environment
Sustainability 2022, 14(6), 3360; - 13 Mar 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1531
The reuse of architectural heritage is a topic of great interest for scientific research, involving aspects ranging from the architectural compatibility of the interventions to the performance updating of the artefacts, from the point of view of both energy consumption and internal comfort [...] Read more.
The reuse of architectural heritage is a topic of great interest for scientific research, involving aspects ranging from the architectural compatibility of the interventions to the performance updating of the artefacts, from the point of view of both energy consumption and internal comfort suitable for the new use. Compatible technological solutions exploit the passive cooling activating latent physical mechanisms of the building, of the envelope or its parts, such as openings and disused shafts. This work concerns the conversion of an old chimney, completely integrated into the historical envelope, into a ventilation duct for the air exchange and the internal comfort improvement of an old factory, proposing an adaptive retrofit solution during adaptive reuse intervention. Thermo-fluid dynamics analyses, performed with an ad hoc CFD solver for flows with flotation effects, verified the effective functionality of the device in summer and winter conditions. The results show that, in summer, the activation of passive ventilation improves the indoor comfort of the environment, while, in winter, it worsens them. This study demonstrates the usefulness of activating passive cooling phenomena in preserving historical architecture. Finally, the future potential of the application is presented by integrating the ventilation chimney with a mechanical control system to optimize its operation even in winter conditions. Full article
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